Thursday, November 09, 2006

Coup in Sierra Leone?

There were rumors around town yesterday pointing at a coup attempt following the interception of a soldier serving in the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) with quantities of arms and ammunition. The said soldier, identified as Private Abdul Sesay was reportedly traveling from the Lungi Garisson heading for the capital Freetown in the early hours of yesterday, Tuesday, 7th November 2006 when he was intercepted by security personnel. The suspect, police sources later confirmed, was arrested on board "a stolen vehicle."

However, reports monitored by Awareness Times on the issue indicate that the vehicle on board which the suspect was arrested along side the arms and ammunition was an Isuzu jeep with registration No. AAO 434. Private Abdul Sesay is said to be attached to the Lungi Garisson and was a one-time Commando in the RUF fighting unit.

At a press conference later yesterday at the Police Headquarters in Freetown, Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Operations, Richard Moigbeh said the police are investigating the matter. A press release was however issued which confirmed the arrest.

According to the release, all the arms and ammunition were retrieved from the suspect. The police release however stopped short of identifying the arrested soldier’s military number.

AIG Moigbeh in a telephone interview with Awareness Times late yesterday evening said he would not divulge the actual identity of the suspect in order not to prejudice the investigation.

"This is a state matter. It is hinging on state security. I cannot divulge all the necessary information now. So far, the press release we have issued is enough. I assure you in less than 24 hours, we would be in place to furnish you and the general public on the full details of what transpired," AIG Moigbeh stated. The intercepted items include the following:

2 RPG Tubes

5 RPG Bombs

6 RPG fuses

400 live rounds of ammunition